Trying Too Hard

Hey guys!

It’s officially September, which means for schools here in the UK, people are starting to go back. Which means work is going to start for parents and kids alike…. and the phrase “you have to try harder!” is going to start being used yet again.

I get it, if there is someone in class who’s just messing around, or just can’t be bothered, why the teacher says “You must try harder” because they are there to make sure you get the best possible grade. But it just gets annoying when you are genuinely trying your absolute hardest at something, and it’s still not being recognized. 

I had a similar problem to this during my GCSE’s last year (or… should I say two years ago, now I’m in Year 13 as of next week..?) because during a lot of my English lessons, I felt that my teacher had her favourites and made it pretty darn obvious. Now, I’d probably say that I was one of her favourites and obviously she wanted the best for everyone, but me and my friend were both mad about English, and I always got the feeling that my teacher favoured her or something. She’d either walk right past me, and give all the advice to my friend, or she’d tell me everything I’ve done wrong before going to my friend and tell her everything she’s done right. 

In a way that doesn’t really matter too much now. I got the grade I wanted and I’m doing it at A-level, and hopefully I can continue it at University. In a way, I feel like I should thank my teacher for acting how she did, whether it was intentional or not, because although she never verbally told me to “try harder” I did it anyway, because of my competitive streak I get from swimming.

It happens in sport as well, but I think in sport the effects of trying too hard can be more obvious than trying too hard at school. If you train with a club for over 8 hours a week, it is physically tiring, because you want to be the best you can be, and if you’re always improving, you’re always getting better, and therefore you’re always pushing yourself to be even better than you already are. At least that’s how it is for me. This year, it’d be great if I could get a county time in 50m Freestyle because I’m so close that it’s actually frustrating me now, and I only have one more year with my club before I go to University. But I don’t want to push myself so far that I suffer from exhaustion. 

There are clearly going to be times at swimming when I’m just not having a great day, and I’m tired already, so when I’m swimming I just want to take it easy. But that doesn’t mean I’m not trying. I often hear “Come on, try harder! That’s a leisurely swim!” etc. etc. etc… but just because I’m swimming slowly, does that mean I’m not trying? It’s something that I’ve never really been able to get my head around.

And on that note, I think I’ll end this post here because I’m getting a headache thinking about this in so much detail… So, see y’all next time.

-The Storyteller


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